21st - 24th April 2011
Another first for Kerikeri Cruising Club
From regular racing on smooth lakes to choppy seas and variable winds -
"different" as Tom Block stated "this is much more real, testing
our skills on an ever-changing ocean".
Nineteen skippers on Day One experienced Cat racing in the Bay of
Islands; three competitors from as far south as Wanaka and Christchurch, nine
from Auckland, an entry from Dargaville and the six local boats from
Kerikeri. The current NZ National Champ
is Murray Philpott.
Casual chatter at the ramp covered that natural nervous anticipation
prior to any Nationals.
Friday Day One
Saw the four
scheduled races completed back to back, with Paddy Simms Race Office, sneaking
in one extra "just in case Mother Nature throws a curly one". Winds
at 5-8 knots saw the start in choppy seas, with a wind increase in the
afternoon to around 12-15 knots, resulting in skilled tactics on lumpy seas.
Ken Urquhart proved a special point made to his students back in
Wanaka. "If you're not given an OCS (On Course Side) from time to time
you're not trying hard enough" - Yep - OCS at least once. What a guy -
leading by example.
The last two races were fast and furious. However Luc Du Bois (NZL8),
Blair Tuke (938) and Murray Philpott (NZL1) held their positions 1st/2nd/3rd
respectively. Luc Du Bois racing on Dean Barkers Cat (DNA), combined with his
international ranking of 5th worldwide - lead every race on Day One.
Daryl Senn - Michael Hooper and Peter Hooper had DNCs in 4 races and 5
races respectively - with boat damage. They will be racing again on Day Two.
Saturday Day Two
with winds at 6-12 knots - seas still lumpy but easier than yesterday. Blair
Tuke suffered a broken harness in race 8. He slipped away from his opponents
zipping back to the marina, returning with a brand new harness in time for Race
9. "Where there's a will there's a way".
Leroy Ford (NZL214) did not have a lucky day - capsizing in race 7 with
his knee punching a hole in the hull. Leroy's pride will be more damaged than
his knee. (DNC Races 7/8/9)
Luc Du Bois showed his skills yet again tacking/jibing right in the
middle of the pressure - centre stage; first in all 4 races.
Sunday Day Three Te Puna
Inlet, the final two races. A breeze of 5-10 knots gusting 15, seas flat;
cloudy but still warm at 19 degrees. Close racing at the bottom mark; a mass of
masts converging on the marker in a fifteen second time span saw spectacular
control by the Skippers.
Luc Du Bois elected not to race on the final day. He had worked hard on
days one and two determining a first place overall. Luc decided to spend the
last day as a spectator, allowing other skippers to concentrate on
position/placing without a forerunner.
Two OCS in the 1st race - Four in the 2nd race. As one of the OCS boats
in Race 2, Ken Urquhart put into effect yet another example for his
trainees; the only boat to follow the
rules, returning to restart. 'Lead by example' must be Ken's motto - we're
Alexis from Southern Spars said he wanted a swim in the Bay. "But
Alexis - NOT while you're racing"; he obviously enjoyed it so much he took
a second swim. Let's not go there....
Blair Tuke was happy to be back in Kerikeri even for a short
visit. "It's so cool to be home
again racing a new class in this Bay I know so well" - and he did well,
with second overall.
Thank you to Graham Davey and Brent Harsant on the Media boat for
picking up jetsam from the Bay; heavy pieces of wood floating in one specific
area just waiting for a multihull to 'crash and crunch'. Well done guys.
Ken Urquhart's closing remarks at Prize Giving "It's so good
racing against these young rock-stars; it's been a great weekend in the Bay of
Islands. Thank you Kerikeri Cruising Club".
1st Luc Du Bois
2nd Blair Tuke
3rd Murray Philpott
4th Presti Philippe
5th Steve Ashley
6th Bruce Curson
7th Thomas Block
8th Geoff Woolley
9th Kevin Wichman
10th Daniel Philpott
11th Dave Aarons
12th Patrick Ashby
13th Ken Urquhart
14th Trevor Simpkin
15th Alexis Reeves
16th Daryl Senn
17th Leroy Ford
18th Michael Hopper
19th Peter Hopper
Thanks to Lesley Haslar and www.crew.org.nz for
this report and results